Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Co-op Confidential: Kevin Rossi, Athletics Communcation Assistant/Web Productions Intern

Name: Kevin Rossi
Year: Senior
Co-op Employer: Drexel Athletics/Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Job Title: Athletic Communications Assistant/Web Production Intern

What is Drexel Athletics/CSN Philly?
Drexel Athletics is the home of Drexel's 18 NCAA D-I sports teams, headed by Director of Athletics Dr. Eric Zillmer. I personally work with the communication staff, headed by Mike Tuberosa. Athletic communication has three full-time staff members and two graduate assistants. Staff members oversee three to five sports; I oversee men's and women's crew while on co-op and will add two or three more sport when I move into a GA position.

CSN Philly is the regional sports network under Comcast/NBC Universal's control covering, you guessed it, the Philadelphia area. In addition to the television network, CSN Philly also has an online home, That's where my work lies, on the website. Web production entails pretty much everything from turning a blank word document into what is seen by a reader on the website. I've had the opportunity to cover Phillies games, Eagles OTAs and Training Camp, and smaller events throughout my time. That's in addition to office work that includes editing, formatting, and shorter writing.

How did you find this job?
I found the CSN Philly internship by heading to their website and scrolling through their internship options. As it happened, my editor at Philahoops, Aaron Bracy, knew the CSN Philly editor, Andy Schwartz, which helped me land the interview. (I also knew a Drexel student co-oping there while I was searching for the internship, but I don't know how much weight that had.)

Anyhow, I found out the CSN Philly internship was actually paid, which is how I ended up getting a second co-op. While paid internships are quite lovely compared to an unpaid endeavor, this holds particularly somewhat inconvenient detail with Drexel. While unpaid internships require 20 hours of work, a paid internship requires a full 40 hours, a time commitment.

Coincidentally (and luckily), less than a week after taking the CSN Philly job and beginning the inevitable freak out to find a second half to my co-op, Tuberosa asked me about my co-op plans before a game I was going to cover. I told him, and they brought me aboard.

What are your favorite parts?
I love sports writing, so both jobs allow me to be around it, but each in a unique way. CSN Philly gives me the opportunity to actually be the sports writer and cover games. Drexel Athletics allows me to work from a  media relations standpoint, writing press releases and help journalist with their coverage of the teams. This allows me to keep a foot in the media and media relations while I continue to figure out the specific direction I'd like to take with my career.

What are the most challenging parts?
Although I'm always doing something no matter what, six-day work weeks are tough. I've worked Sunday through Friday for the duration of co-op, including doubles on Tuesday with Drexel in the morning and CSN at night. It's a lot of work, but nothing that can't be done.

What skills have you used the most during your 6 months?
Writing and editing, for sure. At each of my jobs, I use both skills a lot. However, I'm a much better writer (I think) than editor. So I've really tried to hone my editing skills over this co-op. One thing I always try to do is take periodic note of where my strengths and weaknesses lie, then try to work out the kinks. I was actually a terrible writer coming into college, and I feel like I've really improved by taking time to practice. A lot. That's something I've been trying to consciously do with my editing skills.

What were some things that you have learned during the 6 months that you think will help you in the future?
The previously mentioned editing is certainly one skill that will help as I look to push my media/media relations career forward. Also, I've been able to spin the co-op with Drexel Athletics into a graduate assistant position beginning in January, so being able to learn the required skills and gain experience actually covering my own sports has been really important to me in making the smoothest transition possible.

Find CSNPhilly here.
Read more about Drexel Athletics here.
Connect with Kevin Rossi on LinkedIn here.
Follow Kevin Rossi on Twitter here.

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